Today's post is to encourage everyone who owns a bike to keep the title in a safe place! Treat it just like you would a car title. As I search the motorcycle listings on Craigslist, you can tell right away by the price the bike is being offered for that the seller doesn't have the title. Even 30 year old bikes that have a title and run bring $1000 or more...but the same bike without a title goes for $300 or $400 dollars, simply because you can't get it licensed and prove ownership. A bike without a title is basically a parts bike.
Iowa does have a process to re title an untitled bike, but it is an onerous process involving fees, a search of the dmv records, letters to the last known title holder and finally an inspection and purchasing a surety bond for 2X the value of the bike.
If you watch American Pickers you'll notice the same thing...the guys will pass every time on bikes that don't have titles.
Thanks for reading, and ride safe!